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Thursday September 20, 2012

Royal fashion diary on Kate Middleton

A look at what Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, stepped out in during her recent tour of South-East Asia and the South Pacific.

FOUR countries, nine days and numerous outfits – all eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge as she toured South-East Asia and the South Pacific, in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

While her husband Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, cut a dashing figure in all photographed moments during the tour, Catherine – or more fondly known as Kate – was the subject of intense scrutiny. This was especially so for most people as they looked forward to get a glimpse of what Kate wore during her visits to Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Of course, this whole excitement regarding her outfits is perfectly understandable as she is recognisably one of the most stylish women in the world.

Kate in a Temperley London maxi dress and grass skirt in Tuvalu. Kate in a Temperley London maxi dress and grass skirt in Tuvalu.

Kate made some wise wardrobe selections whereby she injected a little bit of “fashion diplomacy” into her choice of outfits. This enhanced the visual imagery of a purposeful message that some would interpret through her style.

Also noteworthy is that Kate made apt choices for the accessories that complemented each of her looks. From L.K. Bennett heels to Stuart Weitzman wedges, and with clutches from Anya Hindmarch to Wilbur and Gussie, each look was as perfectly co-ordinated as it could have been.

In Singapore, she stepped out in an orchid print, bespoke Jenny Packham dress. It underscored an appropriate tribute as she visited the Singapore Botanical Gardens, where she viewed an orchid specially created for Prince William’s late mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales.

Kate also paid tribute to the island nation by donning a Prabal Gurung dress. The designer – who was born in Singapore, grew up in Nepal and now lives in New York – was ecstatic. He Tweeted: “So [excited] that I just stopped some strangers on the street [and] showed them the [picture] of Kate Middleton in our dress.”

Not only that, she also appeared in outfits by Singapore-based label Raoul, as well as in sleek sophisticated dresses by British designer Alexander McQueen, and Canadian designer Erdem, during her three days in Singapore.

For the royal couple’s visit to our country, Kate donned a stunning Alexander McQueen gown that featured embroidered gold hibiscuses – Malaysia’s national flower.

On the second day, she was seen in a Beulah London dress with a matching headscarf for her visit to the Assyakirin Mosque. This underscores her overt sensitivity towards the country she visits in all aspects of her dressing.

Kate was also seen in a dress by Temperley London for a tea party hosted by the Malaysian British High Commissioner, but switched to a more appropriate outfit – a Zara blouse and beige trousers – for a visit to the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Kota Kinabalu the next day.

When she arrived in the Solomon Islands, Kate was spotted in a Jonathan Saunders dress but she then picked a local attire of a strapless batik dress for a dinner held in their honour. She was later seen in British brands Jaeger and Mulberry for her remaining day in the country before flying off to her final stop for this tour.

In Tuvalu, Kate wore more smart-casual outfits – a dress by an undisclosed designer when she arrived in Tuvalu, and then a bohemian number by Temperley London for the night’s celebrations that also saw her donning a grass skirt and dancing with the locals.

From the Lion City to a tiny Polynesian island, it was overall a triumphant parade of ensembles. This duchess has successfully sealed her fashion icon status.

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